Millions of women are subjected to ionizing radiation every year when we get mammograms at the directive of our health care providers. Radiation risks might be worth it if actual cancerous tumors were detected by mammograms, but a Swedish study involving over 60,000 women pointed out recently that 70% of all detected ‘tumors’ weren’t tumors at all, but false positives that led to invasive biopsies. Up to 80 % of all positive mammograms turn up without a shred of cancer after the biopsy, as well.
Furthermore, mammogram screening increases your risk of cancer. Just four breast films (the usual for one session) exposes a woman to 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose) about 1000 times more than a chest X-ray. If cancer is present, the extreme compression during a mammogram can help cancerous cells to spread (Lancet, 11992; 3440:122). Some doctors in the medical community, including, Dr. John W. Gofman, an authority on the health effects of ionizing radiation, estimates that 75% of breast cancer could be prevented by avoiding or minimizing exposure to ionizing radiation. Dr. Gofman goes so far as to say that medical radiation may even be a primary cause for numerous cancers, including breast cancer.
In an interview conducted with the doctor back in 1994, he said:
“The human experimentation that has been done is bad, and it’s good that that’s being cleared away. But for 25 years the DOE (Department of Health) has not shown any concern for the health of Americans. Their concern has been for the health of the DOE. Their falsehoods concerning the hazards of ionizing radiation have put not thousands of people at risk, not millions of people, but billions of people.”
Aside from the obvious health risks, since no radiation exposure is actually ‘safe,’ there are the inflated costs of breast-cancer detection via mammography. Prices range anywhere from several hundred dollars to almost $3000, with many insurance companies refusing to pay the majorities of the cost of the ‘detection.’ This does not include the cost of biopsy, and later, the chemo and further radiation treatments that will be prescribed to women who have been found to have breast cancer, likely due to radiation exposure.
One study involving 40,000 women screened in Norway found that for every 2,500 women being screened, one death stemming from breast cancer would be prevented, while 6-10 women would be treated for a non-threatening cancer which would never actually cause symptoms. The researchers estimated that between 1,169 and 1,148 were over-diagnosed and received unnecessary treatment. This means unnecessary exposure to radiation. Similarly, a study published in the well-respected Cancer journal describes how radiation treatments actually promote malignancy in cancer cells instead of eradication.
Finally, breast cancer can be treated or avoided with changes in diet, exercise, lifestyle, doses of sunshine, and nutritional supplements. People have been beating cancer with nutrition with supplements like turmeric and Omega 3 fatty-acids for as long as anyone can remember. Health-damaging radiation as both a screening procedure and a ‘cure’ are archaic and brutal as well as costly and unnecessary.
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.